Salmon and rice help power Nishioka into Cincinnati quarter-finals

Cincinnati (AFP) –


Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka reached his second quarter-final of the season on Thursday when he defeated Australia's Alex de Minaur 7-5, 6-4 at the ATP Cincinnati Masters, powered by gorging on salmon and rice.

"My physio is doing well for me, massage or stretching. I'm also eating Japanese food every night," said the 77th-ranked qualifier.

"Yesterday I ate salmon and rice, some other Japanese food. You know, that helps me a lot."

Nishioka, who shocked compatriot Kei Nishikori on Wednesday, will next face Belgian 16th seed David Goffin who defeated Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (8/6), 6-2.

The 23-year-old Nishioka advanced in 82 minutes, never facing a break point while twice breaking de Minaur's serve.

"This is a very special moment for me, I've twice had chances to make quarter-finals in a Masters 1000s," Nishioka said.

"I really want this, so I'm very happy for today."

The winner said he is not looking ahead to the bottom half of a draw with just a few seeds remaining.

"I focus on one match, but the bottom half is a chance for everybody. If I can, I want to take that (opportunity).

"My best ranking was 58. This year, little by little, my ranking is getting higher, and finally I got big points this tournament.

"I believe I can move my ranking higher. This year my goal is to be in the top 40 -- I just believe in that one."